Located in the basement of the Chesterland Historical Foundation’s historic 1850 Town Hall is the Cleveland and Eastern Interurban Historical Society and Museum (C&E), a place where the history of Northeastern Interurban Railroads Ohio is preserved.
The museum, located at the corner of Caves and Mayfield Road (State Route 322), is free and will now be open to the public on the first Sunday of each month between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The museum season will end on October 2. can watch DVDs and enjoy many rare photographs of the line, and see rare books, models, maps and artifacts of the railroad.
Visitors can also tour Chesterland’s original intercity station, see an original freight carriage rebuilt by members of the society, and see a running intercity car on a detailed display. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and explain the history of this Geauga County railroad.
“Our mission is to preserve and remind the county that this has played a role in the development of Geauga. It wasn’t the only thing, but it was part of what he did,” said C&E museum chairman Joe Laskowski.
The C&E Museum was incorporated in 1994, but began in 1992 when the Geauga Park District had a long distance program.
“I was with the Red Cross at the time and they thought I was passionate about it,” Laskowski said. “After that a group of us got together and decided to try to resuscitate C&E and build a railroad. We were able to get our hands on 44 cars but unfortunately Middlefield had worked with the Geauga Park system to create a trail. Looking back we were disappointed but it made sense as this trail goes through Geauga.
Prior to having the museum located in Chesterland, plans were underway to have the museum in Cleveland. In 2008, when the recession hit, the museum’s collection had to be sold, Laskowski said. C&E members, moving forward, hope to educate the public about a simpler time when the county boasted bustling small towns, bustling farms and a few paved roads to connect them, and a time when a handful of entrepreneurs envisioned a network of shiny, electric steel rails. carts to serve the population of a growing country.
“The C&E story, which spanned from 1898 to 1924, had a strong influence on Geauga County because it brought produce from farmers to Cleveland in about 45 minutes as a railcar took more than two days,” Laskowski said. “They were able to get milk to the city in record time, so the farmers prospered.”
The railroad also allowed people to get away from the pollution of the city and travel to the Geauga County Fair, Laskowski said.
“That’s how Geauga really started to blossom,” he said. “Then it stopped. In those days, the Ford Model T and other cars were prolific in the area. People loved being able to go where they wanted to go, when they wanted to go and with whom they wanted to go. want to go without having to board at the station or at an intercity stop.People have found a new independence and the cars have sounded the death knell.
The mission of the C&E Museum is not only to preserve the memorabilia of the Cleveland and Eastern Traction Company and other northeast Ohio intercity systems, but to provide a source of information of a scientific, historical and education relating to the use of rail transport. equipment.
“The Cleveland Eastern Interurban still resonates with people,” Laskowski said. “Maybe their great-grandfather or grandfather rode it. Our task is to educate and keep the memory alive, and to have the ability to say that it was once a mode of transportation. He revolutionized cities and counties.